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Antoinette von Wendt has started ARAG Services Australia in 2019 and will be returning to Germany after 3 years. She has always enjoyed working for a company with a valuable product and she has managed the team following ARAG's founding idea and mission: "Every individual should be able to assert his or her rights, not just those who can afford it". Continue reading to learn more about Antoinette's journey at ARAG and her future plans.

Antoinette, please tell me a bit about yourself and your journey at ARAG. What made you join a LEI company?

ARAG and Legal Expense Insurance are well known in Germany. I always liked the idea to work for a company with a good and valuable product. ARAG’s founding idea and mission meets that: Every Individual should be able to assert his or her rights, not just those who can afford it. To join the successful, family-owned and well-managed company was a given when a perfect job for my skill set was advertised.

How did you end up in Australia as founder of ARAG Services Australia? Why Australia?

ARAG is represented in 19 countries. Australia was set as the next expansion country. The idea was to have someone locally available for the initial phase who knows the product and the company. As I was heading the market exploration project back then, the job was offered to me and I’m happy that I accepted the challenge.

What was your greatest achievement here in Australia?

Business related, there isn’t a single thing I could have achieved myself. There always are and have been many people involved. Thanks to all of them! Also, just to mention one big event or achievement isn’t possible. The whole journey of building a company from scratch came with many rewarding milestones. However, when we received our AFSL 2 years ago it was an official confirmation of having the core processes right. From there the real work could commence…

Personally, the pandemic changed a lot. As an expat you usually expect to travel home once or twice a year. With the travel restrictions that wasn’t possible. In hindsight that was probably the greatest challenge and greatest achievement – committing 100% to the country and enjoying it including the personal challenges it brought.

Where do you see ARAG Services Australia in the next 5 years?

Post pandemic and economic uncertainty I’m sure that Legal Expense Insurance will have its real breakthrough in Australia, and ARAG Australia will be the number 1 agency in that space. Under the excellent leadership of Natasha Gale the team will bring the products into more and more households and small businesses across Australia.

What are your goals for 2022?

First of all – I’m looking forward to taking some leave. I’ll be staying some more weeks in Australia, then relocate back to Germany – finally meeting family & friends again! Some goals are to manage the opposite culture shock of returning home, ‘surviving’ the winter months, and keeping contacts alive - across the globe. That seems to be enough for the first couple of months - from there we’ll see.

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